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Oct 8, 2009 03:47 PM

Santa Rosa - Healdsburg lunch?

Looking for lunch recommendations anywhere between Santa Rosa and Healdsburg. I've ended up at Bovolo (which I liked) the past few times I was in the area, so was hoping for something different. I've read good reports on Zin and Ravenous Cafe, but unfortunately neither serves lunch on Saturdays, which is when I would be the area. Don't want anything that's too pricey.

How's Pupuseria Salvadorena? Willi's Wine Bar (or, alternatively, Willi's Seafood and Raw Bar)?

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  1. Bistro Ralph is right on the Plaza........great lamb burger and onion strings. They have 2 tables outside covered. Very reasonable. Downtown Bakery, on Plaza, has sandwiches and small pizzas more along the line of Bovolo. Bear Republic brewpub is open also ,it is off of Healdsburg ave. Healdsburg bar and Grill is another option .None of these are pricey and you should be able to get a great meal comparable to Bovolo in price.

    4 Replies
    1. re: celeryroot

      Couldn't find a menu for Bistro Ralph online. What else is good there besides the lamb burger?

      1. re: abstractpoet

        Ive had grilled fish ,salmon, that was great........also,crab cakes.Normally there is a pasta and sometimes onion soup.The menu changes from time to time. Ill look what is current when im down at Plaza later today.

          1. re: Nancy Berry

            Hmm. Chicken livers sound good. Anyone had them?

      2. Forgot to add , Willi's in Healdsburg ,not been to other, but it can get pricey as it is small dishes.

        1. I do enjoy Pupuseria Salvadorena. And I suggest saving it for a rainy day...or a series of rainy days. Right now it's the fall harvest and there are some wonderful fruits and veggies available...but not there. They always have great carbs - pupusas, plantanos, beans, yum.

          Better to enjoy Healdsburg now & come to Pupuseria Salvadorena when you need to bulk up. Oh, if you're there on a Saturday, it's right down the street from the farmers market.

          Pupuseria Salvadorena
          1403 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

          Santa Rosa Farmers Market
          1531 Maple Ave, Santa Rosa, CA

          4 Replies
          1. re: Columba

            Thanks for the tip. Is there anything else in Santa Rosa that you would recommend instead? We'll be at the Crane Melon Barn until noon and so may want to eat closer by, though we will probably be driving up to Healdsburg anyway.

            1. re: abstractpoet

              What else do you enjoy besides Bovolo?

              There are several Saturday lunch choices in Santa Rosa, but I don't know whether you'd enjoy the Chinese buffet on Mendocino Avenue or a burger in Town & Country Village?

              Types of food you look forward to eating? Things you can't get close to home?

              1. re: Columba

                We're in Oakland and so have access to a lot of good food, ethnic and otherwise. Fresh, seasonal, local would be great, or anything that's different or interesting, that we don't have as much of in the East Bay--that's why I mentioned the pupusas.

                A Chinese buffet or a burger joint don't sound especially appealing, unless they're spectacular.

                1. re: abstractpoet

                  I suggest Healdsburg. Santa Rosa is just okay eating at Saturday lunch.

                  From the Crane Melon Barn, you could take Mountain View Avenue to Santa Rosa Avenue, get onto the 101 at Todd Road and be in Healdsburg within 25 minutes.

                  You might be able to pick up a bakery snack at Full Circle Baking in Penngrove. They're at the south end of Petaluma Hill Road. Please call to make sure they're still doing retail. They discontinued the deli.

                  Happy eating!

          2. My lunch at ravenous last month was on a Saturday. Has it already changed hours?

            10 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              On their website, it says that they're closed Monday, Tuesday, Saturday lunch, and Sunday lunch. Maybe I'll call to double-check.

              1. re: abstractpoet

                Here's my post for a Saturday lunch at ravenous

                wondering what celeryroot thinks of Charcuterie these days and whether it's open for lunch on sat.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Thanks Melanie--I had seen your earlier report, which is what sparked my interest in the first place. Too bad if it won't be open on Saturday, though.

                  1. re: abstractpoet

                    The address and phone in the places link are incorrect, I think they're for Ravenette. Any way, the woman who answered said Ravenous is open for lunch on sat, but pls look up the real no and confirm.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      I havent been to Charcuterie in about 9 months ,so not fair to comment currently.Although I always liked it.Great pork dishes.
                      I also thought Zin was open on Saturday.

                      1. re: celeryroot

                        They are, but not for lunch, at least according to the website (and my own experience of trying to go one Saturday several months ago).

                      2. re: Melanie Wong

                        I called, and they said that they are closed for lunch on Tuesdays. Strangely, she said that they switched to these hours about four months ago. You were there just last month, Melanie? (Or was it Ravenette that you went to?)

                        1. re: abstractpoet

                          I'm typing on a mobile device with limitations. Thus has gotten very confused. If you open the link I provided, you can see that I ate at ravenous (menu, patio photos). However, the transition in the site's Restaurants& bars feature fka Places has messed up the contact info in the place link.

                          If you call the no. In the Plsce link, you'll get Ravenette and it is indeed closed on Saturday at lunch. If you call the correct number for ravenous which is on center St, they'll tell you that ravenous cafe is open on Saturday for lunch. So be sure you called the right number and confirm who you are talking to. The phone numbers on the web are messed up. And I've had too much wine tonight to be typing, someone else can try to clarify this, I just didn't want you to continue with false info.

                          420 Center St
                          Healdsburg CA 95448

                          Tel: 707-431-1302

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            OK, I see. I called the phone number on the web, but apparently still ended up calling the wrong place. Strange, though, that they still answered as "Ravenous Cafe"--maybe I called the place in Sacramento. But now found the correct website. Thanks.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              they said they were open for lunch on saturdays when I called yesterday. Go by both and check menus and see what you prefer. They are just a block plus apart. Both menus change seasonally. It is market day so parking might be more difficult , just drive arnd in circles people come and go quickly.

                2. So we ended up at Ravenous Cafe, which we enjoyed. Walked in without a reservation with no problem; decided to sit inside since it was a bit chilly. I had the fish cakes, which were great--the waiter said the fish was local rock cod (not the mahi mahi Melanie had last month). In any case, great flavor, great texture, perfectly fried. The accompanying salad (lettuce, pea sprouts, eggplant, some various pickled things, some noodles) was good, but maybe a bit too vinegary for my taste. I did really like the eggplant.

                  My wife had the Ravenous burger, and I stole a few bites. The meat was quite flavorful, the tomatoes were fresh and sweet, and I liked the crunchy crust on the cut side of the lower bun. Good burger. The oven fries were just OK--kind of big, so you almost feel like you should cut them with your knife.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: abstractpoet

                    Thanks for the report on Ravenous Cafe. After all this back and forth, I'm relieved that you enjoyed it. You've just reminded me of why I haven't ordered the burger . . . don't like the oven fries much. Good bread there, house-baked.

                    BTW, could you pls provide the url for the Ravenous website you mentioned? It's not on the Places page and I'm not able to locate one.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Here's the URL:

                      You'd think that they would list their hours on the site, but it doesn't appear that they do.

                      And yes, the bread was quite good. Filled up on it, so didn't have room for dessert!